Indie Horror Spotlight: “North Woods”

North Woods Official Poster

We here at Slasher Studios are always looking to support indie slashers and we have a bloody treat to share with you today. Check out the brand new slasher and make sure to like the official Facebook page below.

From the official press release:

In the vein of Dario Argento, Mario Bava, David Lynch & the bizarre macabre films of the 70’s/80’s, comes this psychotic motion picture of unrelenting terror!

From within the woods, a blood spattered young man, named John Prescott, runs out in front of a car, terrified and muttering gibberish. Enter Dr. Pamela Alley, an esteemed psychologist, and Detective Morris West, her secret lover from the local police force, who have just been assigned the boy’s case. As the teen begins telling his diabolical tale of a local weekend vacation gone horribly wrong, it becomes clear that nothing is ever what it seems when a very troubled substitute teacher, with a webbed past of nightmares,emerges at the center of the proceedings. What keys does she hold to the nearly phantasmic events surrounding the area for the last several years?

Perhaps some secrets are better left in…the North Woods.

Featuring legendary indie horror/b-movie scream queen, Debbie Rochon, North Woods guarantees you an authentic visceral, yet surreal experience straight from the era where grindhouse slashers & Drive-in Horror relentlessly ruled the cinemas!

Like the official FB page:
https://www.facebook.com/NorthWoods2015Film

A to Z Horror: “Urban Legend” (1998)

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I had seen this movie for the first time 3-4 years ago but somehow I cannot recall anything from when I saw it, so I decided to give Urban Legend (1998) a second viewing (“U” of #AtoZHorror in August/September) and I must say that its a pretty good late 90’s slasher. It has a really awesome and attractive young cast filled with horror legends and soon-to-be famous movie stars. The acting performances in this movie are pretty divided. Jared Leto was really likeable as the male lead, he was pretty charming but also had a knowledge of his own. Great actor in general and he came very far in both music and acting careers.

Alicia Witt, in my opinion, was really bad in this movie. It looks like she wasn’t even trying to make her character look or sound resourceful and/or interesting. I couldn’t care for her character and she was a tacky, bland and forgettable final girl also, if that is the term. Rebecca Gayheart was an absolute trailblazer in Urban Legend, hands down the best performance of the film and her career. Really interesting character development, that’s all I will say. Tara Reid had a fun performance, loved her spunky character. Joshua Jackson and Michael Rosenbaum were fun in this movie too. Also kudos to the phenomenal supporting turns by Loretta Devine, Danielle Harris and the ever awesome Robert Englund! Incredible cast overall! There are some really inventive death sequences in Urban Legend and some pulse pounding chase scenes, in particular the chase in the final act with Tara Reid. There were some surprise jump scares and one fantastic killer twist! The direction and editing are fairy well done. The soundtrack is really fun to listen to and very moody in some scenes.

Urban Legend is nowhere near as good as Scream but it still provides for great viewing pleasure. Its a fast paced slasher that borrows some of previous outings in the genre but also manages to serve us fun characters, great death scenes and a very interesting script. I highly recommend this to slasher fans and movie lovers in general, its worth a watch.

–Ferdi Akkulak

Last Chance to Become a KILLER “Dismembering Christmas” Backer

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It’s not too late to become a Dismembering Christmas backer! Receive some exclusive rewards as listed before AND help support indie filmmaking. We have a bloody good slasher that we can’t wait to share with all you slasher fans out there.

Donate $40 – Receive a Dismembering Christmas DVD & thank you credit.
Donate $50 – Receive DVD, thank you & imdb credit.
Donate $75 – Receive DVD, thank you, imdb credit, and cast/crew signed poster!
Donate $100 – Receive DVD, thank you, imdb credit, and cast/crew signed poster as well as a Don’t Go to the Reunion DVD & poster combo!

All money raised goes to the making of the film and we can’t wait to bring gore to this holiday season! Simply click the donate button below and pay through Paypal. It’s that easy and we can’t thank you guys enough.





John Carpenter: A Tribute to the Godfather of the Slasher

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Horror movies are, admittedly, an ambiguous sort of entertainment. For some viewers, they are simply too much, while others find something exhilarating (if not cathartic) in being able to confront their anxieties in a safe way, that presents no actual danger to the viewer. Film itself is all about sensory manipulation, and someone who mastered the technique of scaring audiences through film is John Carpenter. And what’s more: Carpenter showed, with his early humbly budgeted thrillers, that he could generate strong reactions from viewers without a lot of special effects and explicit violence. Conversely, the brief period of time that he had investors confidently funneling money into his films showed that Carpenter could also produce competent horror films that did rely heavily on special effects.

Here is a look at some of Carpenter’s most noteworthy outings as director:

Halloween (1978)

Halloween is one of the most lucrative (and frequently imitated) horror films of all time. Not bad considering that the film was made for just over $300,000 and featured mostly green performers. The film really solidifies the sort of “slasher movie template” that was used as the basis for film franchises like Friday the 13th and Prom Night. On Halloween night in “Haddonfield, Illinois” in 1963, six-year old Michael Myers slays his old sister with a kitchen knife. 15 years later, while awaiting parole, Myers escapes his mental institution, and returns to Haddonfield to slay a bunch of teenagers. It’s a thin plot, with even thinner dialogue, a cast consisting of very few principal actors (most of them, completely unknown at the time the film was being shot, with the exception of veteran English actor Donald Pleasence).


The Thing (1982)

A routine scientific expedition in Antarctica soon becomes a macabre playground fit for an evil alien shape-shifter. What’s more, the alien is capable of taking over the bodies of his victims. The special effects for this film are incredible. It had the distinct misfortune, however, of opening up against Blade Runner and E.T. — so, suffice it to say, The Thing’s theatrical run was lackluster, at best. Even though the film is typically regarded by horror aficionados as a superb eighties horror movie, critics lambasted the film upon its release. The film is also notable as an interesting reinvisioning of the classic The Thing From Another World (1951).

The Fog (1980)

The town’s inhabitants may not realize it, but the sleepy coastal town of Antonio Bay was built atop a leper colony. When the town was first built, the founding government sent a group of lepers from the colony to parish aboard a ship during a storm. Antonio Bay’s centennial is coming up, and they’ve got a surprise guest: THE FOG. The “fog” itself is comprised mostly of the ghosts of those lepers who were killed. They are descending upon Antonio Bay to murder the townsfolk to avenge their own ghastly murder. Carpenter’s than wife Adrienne Barbeau plays a memorable role as Antonio Bay’s disk jockey. Although the film was largely dismissed by critics, it has gone on to become a cult film in its own right.

Prince of Darkness (1987)

Prince of Darkness is a movie from Carpenter that has a cult following but was not widely-accepted upon its release. When a priest goes missing and another attempts to find him, an unknown cylinder vat is discovered, adding to the mystery of the disappearance. The priest enlists a team of graduate physics students to help unravel and solve the mystery. Little do they know, evil is lurking all around them. The film features notable performances from Alice Cooper and Donald Pleasence.

In The Mouth of Madness (1994)

Main character, John Trent (Sam Neill), is sent to recover the latest manuscript form popular horror author Sutter Cane (Jurgen Prochnow), only to discover that the monsters and beasts from Cane’s fantasy world have become somehow manifest. Trent finds himself trapped within that world, and struggles to escape it. The film is Carpenter’s most direct tribute to classic horror pulp writer H.P. Lovecraft — a troubled, scrawny writer who envisioned a world filled with subaquatic monster gods, who were indifferent to human suffering. Unfortunately, Carpenter failed to secure all of the funding he needed to complete the film as he originally envisioned it, and some critics have mercifully attributed the film’s lack of coherence to this. Regardless, it’s a richly imaginative film, and one that delivers terrific scares.

They Live (1988)

Nada (wrestler Rowdy Roddy Piper), discovers a pair of sunglasses one afternoon which reveal to him a dark and evil world that is unknown to most people on Earth. The world, Nada discovers, is controlled by Aliens whose ultimate goal is to enslave all humans and deplete the planet’s natural resources. Nada and his friend Frank (Keith David) are left with the responsibility of overthrowing the evil alien empire. Carpenter wisely (or unwisely) allowed Piper to ad-lib on set, and Piper came up with some doosies, alright. Nevermind the epic fight scene, which lasts nearly six minutes in duration.

Recent Projects

After contemplating retirement, Carpenter returned to the scene to direct two pieces to the Masters of Horror series. He contributed two segments: Cigarette Burns (2005) and Pro-Life (2006) Although Masters of Horror is well-known within the horror cult community, it is not one of Carpenter’s most well-received projects.

By and large though, Carpenter has retired. After a series of setbacks In the 90’s,Carpenter decided to be more selective about what projects he pursues. Regardless of the struggle, Carpenter’s film resume is quite impressive, duds and all. Recently, Carpenter was interviewed by Robert Rodriguez on The Director’s Chair which is available via local tv on the El Rey Network where he talked about many of the films he once created. Carpenter has also ventured into comic books (see here and here). Although Carpenter is not actively making movies at this time, the creations he brought to the big screens will continue to influence many modern horror films today.

–Brandon Engel

Slasher Studios Horror Podcast: Child’s Play (1-3) Reviews

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On a brand new Slasher Studios Horror Podcast, our hosts Andrew Beirl and Kevin Sommerfield review the first three installments of the Child’s Play series. It’s going to be a bloody good time. Show starts Wednesday night at 10PM central!

To listen in live or to check out an archive:
Slasher Studios Horror Podcast: Child’s Play (1-3) Reviews

A to Z Horror: “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (1974)

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I have finally seen The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) for the very first time (“T” of #AtoZHorror in August/September) and as everyone told me: I absolutely loved it! It was exactly the movie that I needed at this moment, and I really thank this movie for the experience! It was disturbing, terrifying, gruesome and not to forget extremely realistic. It had this grisly and raw feel to it that made it look like a documentary, it wasn’t even like a movie sometimes. The movie also gave me an uneasy and uncomfortable feeling but in a pretty good way, mainly because of the intense imagery and the unsettling feel to it. Leatherface is a really disturbing killer/villain in my opinion. The deaths, while being really good, wasn’t the strongest aspect.

Acting wise, I absolutely LOVED the performances of the late Marilyn Burns and Gunnar Hansen! The soundtrack was also really moody and the movie had a couple of really well crafted chase scenes. Because of the low budget exploitation feel, it looked really realistic to me. The final act was gut wrenching and was able to leave me both scared, disturbed but also amazed by what I just witnessed. The running time wasn’t really long but I really thought this movie was fast paced and over before you knew it. My slight problems were the characters, I know that the makers intended to not have the characters play a huge part of the story but none, besides one (Marilyn Burns as Sally) really stood out to me. I also really felt that the character Franklin (don’t even care who actually played him) was super annoying and really unlikeable. They should’ve either scrapped the role or had him die earlier on in the film. He was THE bad omen of this movie.

Overall The Texas Chain Saw Massacre became one of my favorite horror/exploitation movies I have ever seen, fantastically directed by Tobe Hooper. Its really bizarre at some parts but that really only works in its advantage! I highly recommend this movie to anyone, you’ll love it!

–Ferdi Akkulak

A to Z Horror: “The Shining” (1980)

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I have finally seen The Shining (1980) for the first time (“S” of #AtoZHorror in August/September) and while my expectations were pretty high going in watching this movie, the movie ultimately turned out not meeting my expectations. I liked quite a lot of things of this movie. The performance of Jack Nicholson is iconic, scary and really realistic. To me, his character should’ve had more sane than insane scenes to make the transition look believable but still a terrific acting performance. I like the directing style of Stanley Kubrick, its really unique yet effective. The imagery in this movie is also top notch, scenes that slowly but surely build up with suspense and tension. I really liked a lot of scenes in this movie: the “Here’s Johnny” scene, the scene with the scary twins, the chase scene in the maze and not to forget the “redruM” scene! The soundtrack is unforgettably fantastic, one of the best I have heard. Really liked the hotel as well, great set design! This movie also had quite a few problems, which was what I could’ve expected…

The acting performance of Shelley Duvall is shockingly bad, a real shame, was hoping I’d like her more than others do but sadly its a really unimpressive performance. She had a handful of scenes where I thought she did good, but she was also really cringe worthy most of the time. Having seen the behind the scenes documentary I can understand how this happened. What I also didn’t like was the ending, that made no sense at all to me. I started wondering which characters in this movie were real or fake. It remains unexplained, the last 5 minutes of The Shining literally lost all common sense it had going for the entire film. Really disappointing…

I saw the European version of 115 minutes and not the version that is 30 minutes longer. Overall, I like The Shining, I wish I loved it like some do, but it might get better with future watches. It really had problems, but its also a beautifully shot thriller that is able to captivate as well, with lots of creepy moments. It’s just not perfect…

–Ferdi Akkulak

First Look: Upcoming Slasher Studios Horror Podcast Schedule

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We are about to hit our 200th Slasher Studios Horror Podcast and we are eager to share with you the next few weeks of podcast programming. Shows air live every Wednesday night at 10PM central and an archive of the live show will be available to listen shortly thereafter.

September 10th—Child’s Play, Child’s Play 2, Child’s Play 3 reviews
September 17th—Bride of Chucky, Seed of Chucky, Curse of Chucky
September 24th—Horror Movies We Are Looking Forward to in 2015
October 1st–Horror Movies That Need a Blu-Ray Release
October 8th–Behind the Scenes of Fantom Fest
October 15th–Halloween-Halloween III reviews
October 22nd–Halloween 4-Halloween H20 reviews
October 29th-Halloween Resurrection, Halloween & Halloween II (remakes)

To listen live or to check out an archive:
Slasher Studios Horror Podcast